State officials meeting to discuss Teising, Wabash Township Fire Department

State Sen. Ron Alting (R-District 22) is hosting a special meeting Monday at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising.

Posted: Jun 18, 2021 11:27 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2021 6:27 PM

WABASH TOWNSHP, Ind. (WLFI) — State Sen. Ron Alting (R-District 22) is hosting a special meeting Monday at the Indiana Statehouse to discuss Wabash Township Trustee Jennifer Teising.

Elected officials, attorneys and other legal experts will attend the meeting.

As News 18 previously reported, a grand jury indicted Teising in May on 20 counts of felony theft over accusations she didn't live in the township for several months beginning last year. She's also facing criticism for her plans to shrink the township fire department.

Teising will lay off the township's three paid firefighters at the end of the month. As News 18 previously reported, she faced public outrage for that plan during a Tuesday township board meeting and has ignored calls to resign.

State officials are coming together to see what can be done to save the fire department.

The special meeting at the statehouse begins at 2 p.m. Monday.

Township board members and other elected officials in Tippecanoe County will be there, as well as representatives from the Indiana Legislative Services Agency, the Indiana Township Association, the Association of Indiana Counties and the Attorney General's Office.

Township board members say their power stops at approving the township budget.

Alting says he doesn't want to leave any stones unturned when it comes to legal options to reinstate the firefighters' jobs.

But he stopped short of calling on Teising to resign.

"I think that's a decision the people should make and that's something that she's gotta make, but I think she needs to look in the mirror and ask herself, 'Am I really being a good public servant?'" Alting said.

Alting added he would resign if he was in Teising's position.

"I don't throw darts at people but I think the writing's on the wall ... when you're a public servant, you serve the people and what's in the best interest of the people?" he said. "It's certainly not continuing to go down the road that that township has been going down."

As News 18 previously reported, township board approved a last-minute money transfer they say could keep the firefighters employed through 2023. But emails from Teising suggest she's moving forward with the layoffs and disagrees with the legality of the transfer.

Alting also wants to explore future legislation that could limit trustee powers.

As News 18 previously reported, he presented an amendment to a bill this year that would add trustees to a list of elected officials that can be removed from office through votes by commissioners and county council members. The amendment didn't pass.

Teising did not return a message seeking comment.

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